- Trip Outline
- Trip Includes
- Trip Excludes
Druk Experience is now offering a new route of horse riding adventure in the beautiful Gangtey Valley. Gangtey is one of the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan. It is a conservation zone within the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park. The endangered black-necked cranes also call this valley home during the winter months (late October to March). Phobjikha (where the cranes can be spotted) is a wide glacial valley with a central stream meandering through open grassland and thickets of dwarf bamboo. Farmland occupies the peripheral slopes where potatoes and turnips are grown. The forests beyond the farms are mostly coniferous. The general vegetation is composed of mainly blue pine, birch, maple, and several rhododendrons species.
This tour is customizable depending on how many days you would like to ride. Most rides originate daily from our ranch and branch out to cover the entire valley. This tour is suitable for novice riders and expert riders. The adventure rides are spectacular as you get to journey through awe-inspiring landscapes from local villages, over mountain passes, and through pristine forests. You can meet local school children, monks, nuns, and if you are lucky, view the black-necked cranes(seasonally).
The rides here are spectacular as you get to journey through awe-inspiring landscapes from local villages, over mountain passes and through pristine forests. You can meet local school children, monks, nuns and, if you are lucky, view the black-necked cranes(seasonally).
Arrival-Thimphu. Alt: 2300 m. Dist. 1 Hours, 55 Km
When flying to Bhutan, you fly over the great Himalayas, enjoying the magnificent scenery of the world’s highest glacial mountains. Once you land, a representative from Druk Experience will meet you and take you to Thimphu, the capital city, which is about an hour’s drive. You will have an opportunity to rest and have lunch before visiting the Memorial stupa and Trashi Chodzong. Overnight in Thimphu in Hotel.
Thimphu-Gangtey. Alt: 2800 m. Dist. 4 hr 6 min, 144 Km
After breakfast sightseeing in Thimphu may include a visit to the Bhutan living museum, the Traditional Art School, popularly known as painting school Giant Buddha statue overlooking Thimphu valley before we begin our journey to the Gangtey Valley, approximately a 4-hour drive. On the way we will stop at the Dochula Pass for tea and incredible views. Time permitting, we will make a few more stops along the way for sightseeing and to enjoy the incredible views. Overnight in Gangtey in Hotel.
Natural Trail & Valley Explore. Alt: 2800 m. Dist. 4 hours ride
After breakfast, we will go to the horse ranch which is located in the Dramche village. Here you will meet your horse and, if needed, have a short riding lesson. We will then begin our journey through the Semchubara village, beautiful pine forests and into the open valley where we will stop to enjoy a great view of the black-necked crane resting grounds. We will continue riding past a chorten and Khewa Lhakhang, where we have the opportunity for a short gallop, for advanced riders. We will continue riding, following Phobjikha Gewog road, passing several villages until we reach Ngenlung Drechaling, a nunnery temple, where we will dismount to visit the temple and talk with the nuns. After the tour and a picnic lunch, we will continue riding through the village of Taphu, home to local sheep herders. You will have the option of a deluxe camping experience or a local homestay for overnight accommodations. Included is a complimentary hot stone bath, perfect for those sore muscles!
Village Explore Ride Alt: 2800 m. Dist. 4-5 hours ride
After breakfast we will ride through the village of Taphu to Lawok. The Lawok settlement is one of the largest remaining villages totally dependent on livestock and harvesting potatoes. We can visit the Ramchen Primary School on our way to the Chabji village. Here we will stop and visit AWP alcohol distillery plant before riding to the Zizi village where we will have a picnic lunch. We will continue riding through the valley where we will stop at the black-necked crane information center, which has a wealth of information on the cranes and the local history of the area. When we continue, we will ride along the logging road below the Gangtey temple hill to the Semchubara village through beautiful pine forest, back to the ranch. Overnight in hotel.
360-degree with rhododendron Ride Alt: 2800 m. Dist. 5-6 hours ride
Today we will ride towards the Gangtey Monastery where we will make a brief stop for touring. Then we will continue riding pine forests to the 5-star Amankora resort, where we can stop for tea (Chargeable). We will continue riding, ascending through the Gala village to the Lawala pass. Today’s ride will be through dwarf Rhododendron, spectacular during flowering season. During the spring months, the woodlands on either side of the valley look particularly stunning, with an array of colored rhododendrons. In the winter months, the views from the top offer up the snow-capped Himalayas to the north.
When we reach the ridge, you will have a spectacular unobstructed 360° view of the Gangtey Valley including the Himalayan peaks which form Bhutan’s northern border. We will ride along the ridgeline before enjoying a lunch with breathtaking views. We will descent through the village of Kombu, visiting the Kombu temple, one of oldest Nyingpa monasteries associated with Longchen Rabjampa (1308-1363) before reaching the ranch. Overnight in hotel.
Gangtey to Gogona. Alt: 3000 m. Dist. 5 hours Ride
Once again, we start our ride from the ranch following route below Gangtey monastery hill to Crane information center. Upon reaching forest range office climb to the Tsele La (3430m) pass by following an ancient trail through pine forests. You will have great views of the Phobjikha valley as we climb. Once we see the prayer flags at the pass, we will be at 3430m above sea level. After the pass, it is a nice descent through beautiful meadow and juniper trees to the Chubja village. After a 45-minute ride we will reach the Gogona temple. The Gogona village is spread out over several meadows and most families living her make a living through farming. Here we will camp on one of the beautiful meadows or stay in farmhouse. Overnight in Camp/Farmhouse.
Gogona-Khothokha. Alt: 2700 m. Dist. 4-5 hours Ride
In the morning we will explore the village and interact with villagers as we learn about their way of life. Here we will also visit the Gogona community milk processing unit, where Emmen haler, Gouda, Mutschler and other local cheeses and butter are made. When we leave the village, we will begin our ascent the Shobe La pass (3475m) following an ancient trail. From the mountain pass there is a long and beautiful descent through a magical rhododendron forest that turns into a pine forest with fern undergrowth. Eventually we will arrive at Khothokha Village. Just outside the village there is a newly built monastic school. Over 100 monks study here, and it is definitely worth making a visit. Overnight in Camp/Monastery Guest house.
Khotokha-Punakha. Approx. Alt: 1200 m. Dist. 1 Hr 58 Min. 54 Km
Today we will begin our journey back to Punakha. A short scenic drive through ever-changing vegetation brings us to Punakha and Wangdue valley. Here we will tour the architectural wonders of the 17th century Punakha Dzong, straddling at the confluence of Pho and Mo rivers (male & female). From the Punakha Dzong we will walk across the suspension bridge, and gradually climb up the hill for about 2-3hr to Limukha village. Meet your vehicle near Limukha and drive to the hotel. Overnight hotel in Punakha valley.
Punakha-Paro. Approx. Alt: 2200 m. Dist. 3 Hours, 130 Km
After breakfast we will take a short walk to visit the Chimi Lhakhang temple, dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kunley (1455 - 1529), popularly known as ‘the divine madman’, a folk hero and a cultural icon around whom countless stories of fact and fiction, stories and legends have been spun. Then we will begin our drive to Paro, approximately 3 ½ hours.
Time permitting, we will visit Tamchogang temple and walk across the hand forged iron bridge (1433). Upon arrival in Paro, you have the option of a short hike to the Zori Dzong or to shop in town for souvenirs.
Paro-Taktsang.Approx. Alt: 2200 m. Dist. NA
After breakfast and a short drive, we will begin the 2-3-hour hike to Taktsang Monastery (Tiger's Nest). This magical monastery clings to a vertical granite cliff 3,000 ft above the valley floor. It is a sacred monastery for the Bhutanese people who believe that it must be visited at least once in their lifetime. In the afternoon, we will drive to Drugyel Dzong, 18 kilometers away from Paro town. The Dzong, now in ruins, is a place of historical importance, from whose ramparts the Bhutanese once repelled Tibetan invaders. On a clear day, one can view the sacred Mount Chhomolari, Mountain of Goddess (24,000 ft). If time permits, visit Kichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in the country built in the 7th century AD
Your Druk Experience guide and driver will ensure that you are at the airport and checked in for your journey home.
- Accommodations in hotel& Camp or Local Farm during trek
- All meals, evening tea/coffee with snacks
- All land transfers and transportation
- English speaking Bhutanese Tour Guide/Leader
- Daily Tourist Fees & Taxes
- Bhutan Visa and all applicable permits
- Horse Charges
- Camping Equipment during Trek
- Sightseeing with entrance fees to all monuments
- Bottled water in the vehicle
- Flights into and out of Bhutan
- Optional Travel/Medical
- Insurance Personal expenses such as bars, beverages in the hotel, telephone, laundry, trips, and others
- Pricing NameStartEndGroup (Min-Max)Pricing
Yes, this trip can be taken as a solo traveler on any dates of your choice. The cost for this trip is calculated on a solo traveler. If others join the tour, the cost could possibly lower slightly. Check with your travel specialist.
We provide English saddles for the trekking tour. We suggest you wear long pants and appropriate footwear. Helmets can be provided upon request
Yes, our horses are well trained, and a novice rider can easily make the trek. Our guides will determine your comfort level and set the pace accordingly.
Druk Experience provides the tent and pad for the sleeping bag. If you cannot bring your own sleeping bag, we can provide one. Your tent will be set up daily for you. A bathroom privacy tent is provided at each campsite. A private cook will prepare all your meals while on the trek.